Antidepressants and Sex Drive: What Are the Side Effects?

GREATEST – Some folks find that antidepressants cause sexual problems. However, there may be alternative options, so chat with your doctor!

In the quest for mental wellness, many peeps tackle depression or anxiety head-on with the help of antidepressants. They’re a trusty sidekick in the battle against the blues.

But when you thought you had the upper hand, they throw you a curveball — one that hits right in the libido department.

Yep, these meds have a knack for dampening the desire for intimacy and can leave your sex life in the dust. Everyone’s different, and you may not notice any adverse effects between the sheets.

If you’d like to learn more about the sexual side effects of antidepressants and unpack what happens and why, continue reading.

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Which antidepressant medications cause sexual side effects?

Any antidepressant medication can cause sexual problems, but they’re not created equal in terms of their impact on sex drive.

Research shows that sexual dysfunction is common in peeps taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Examples of these meds include:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)

Paroxetine is commonly associated with decreased libido and delayed ejaculation. On the flip side, mirtazapine (Remeron) appears less likely to cause sexual dysfunction.

Why do some antidepressants cause sexual side effects?

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Antidepressants like SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These messenger chemicals are responsible for your mood but also have a say in your bedroom activities. So, when you mess with their delicate balance, it can throw a wrench into your sexual mojo.

SSRIs can also reduce luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone levels. LH and FSH are hormones the pituitary gland produces that are crucial in regulating reproductive function, including testosterone and estrogen production … 


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